Special Report

12 States With the Most Hate Groups

12. Texas
Hate groups per 1 million:
3.12
Number of hate groups: 84 (the most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 27.8% (22nd lowest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 43.4% (4th lowest)

Texas is home to more hate groups than any other state in the country. Well over half of the 84 hate groups operating in Texas are affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, including the Texas Rebel Knights, a group that emerged in 2015. This past year was an especially active one for hate groups in the Lone Star State. In late November, a group of armed protesters gathered outside a mosque in Irving for an anti-Muslim demonstration. The demonstration sparked a backlash of counter-protests and drew the attention of the Texas Rebel Knights, which announced plans for the chapter’s own demonstration at the Irving Islamic Center in early 2016.

As is the case with the majority of states home to high concentrations of hate groups, Texas is an especially dangerous state. There are 406 violent crimes for every 100,000 state residents each year, considerably more than the national violent crime rate of 366 incidents per 100,000 people.

11. Pennsylvania
Hate groups per 1 million:
3.13
Number of hate groups: 40 (6th most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 29.0% (24th highest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 77.7% (19th highest)

More than three-quarters of Pennsylvania residents identify as white. While racial diversity may be relatively uncommon in the state, hate groups are not. There are more than three hate groups for every million Pennsylvania residents, more groups per capita than in all but 10 other states. The 10.6% of Pennsylvania residents who identify as black are disproportionately targeted by hate groups. Of the 40 hate groups operating in the state, 18 are either white nationalists, racist skinheads, or KKK chapters.

While Pennsylvania is notable for its high concentration of hate groups, racism in the state takes on other forms as well. While white households tend to earn more than black households across the United States, the difference is larger in Pennsylvania. The typical black household in Pennsylvania earns just 43.9% of what a white household makes, a greater difference than in the majority of states.

10. Missouri
Hate groups per 1 million:
3.63
Number of hate groups: 22 (12th most)
Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 27.5% (19th lowest)
Pct. pop. identifying as white: 79.9% (17th highest)

Missouri’s status as a slave state when it was admitted to the Union in 1820 came only after months of contentious debate. Today, the legacy of slavery and racial tension is more visible in Missouri than it is in most parts of the country. There are roughly 3.6 hate groups for every 1 million state residents, a higher concentration than in the vast majority of states. Of the 22 hate groups operating in Missouri, six are black separatist and two are neo-Confederate. Another eight are either KKK, racist skinhead, or white nationalist.

Like a majority of states with a high concentration of hate groups, the composition of Missouri’s population is much whiter than the nation as whole. Roughly 80% of the state’s population identifies as white compared to only 62% of Americans who identify as white. The state is also more violent than the nation as a whole. There are roughly 443 violent crimes for every 100,000 people each year in Missouri, considerably more than the national rate of 366 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This figure does not include the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, which put poor race relations in the city in the national spotlight.

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